Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Espionage? Second Web Firm Worried After Dutch Hack

A company that sells certificates guaranteeing the security of websites, GlobalSign, said Tuesday it is temporarily halting the issuance of new certificates over concerns it may have been targeted by hackers.

GlobalSign, the Belgian subsidiary of Japan's GMO Internet Inc., is one of the oldest such companies globally, and large, but much smaller than industry giants VeriSign and GoDaddy.

It said in a statement it does not know whether it has actually been hacked, but is taking threats by an anonymous hacker seriously in the wake of an attack on a smaller Dutch firm, DigiNotar, that came to light last week.

The DigiNotar attack is believed to have allowed the Iranian government to spy on thousands of Iranian citizens' communications with Google email during the month of August.

Fallout from the Dutch hack continued Tuesday as the Dutch government, which used DigiNotar to authenticate many of its sites, continued to seek replacements.

Meanwhile the Netherlands' national prosecutors said they were investigating DigiNotar, a subsidiary of Chicago-based Vasco Inc., for possible criminal negligence.

The company did not return phone calls seeking comment.


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